For my first blog post on my brand new website, I have decided to share one of my favorite photographic experiences from 2013: The Women’s College World Series.
As a student photographer for the University of Tennessee athletic department, I’ve covered many sports: Football, men and women’s basketball, men and women’s tennis, volleyball, swimming, diving, baseball, golf, track and field, and even a little rowing. But one of my favorite sports to cover is softball, and for many reasons.
First, it’s easier and more fun to cover than baseball. The field is smaller and bases closer together, making action quicker and reducing the need for super long lenses like the 600mm f/4. Also, the games go by quicker since the ladies play only 7 innings. This can be reduced further thanks to the mercy rule.
But in Tennessee’s case, its also about the general attitude and success surrounding the program. Husband & wife coaching duo Ralph and Karen Weekly are not only fantastic coaches, but also fantastic people. The team seems very tight knit and family oriented. The program also gets great support from the athletic department and from it’s dedicated fans. Overall, there is a great aura that surrounds this team and makes covering the team more enjoyable.
So when I was given the opportunity to follow the team on their journey to the WCWS, I jumped on it immediately, and my what an experience it was. We had many ups and downs, and even huddled for cover as the storm that created the world’s largest tornado careened for OKC. The Lady Vols eventually made it to the championship series, but ultimately fell to the softball powerhouse and hometown favorites, the Oklahoma Sooners.
I’ll probably never forget that trip, not just because of the wild experiences, but also for the confidence and growth I experienced in my photography that week. I’m grateful the Lady Vols and the UT Media Relations staff gave me the opportunity. Below is a slideshow containing a few of my favorite images and time lapses from those 9 days, in no particular order.
Minutes before we were told to head to the underground complex beneath our hotel, I set up a time-lapse in my window to capture the incoming storm.
Below is a time lapse from Game #2 of the championship series.